World, Africa

Businesses to reopen as Uganda eases virus lockdown

Curfew revised, salons, business arcades allowed to open, boda boda taxis to be back on roads next week

22.07.2020
Businesses to reopen as Uganda eases virus lockdown FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

Uganda has started easing some more lockdown restrictions that have been in place since March, local media reported on Tuesday.

Salons and several business arcades can now reopen, while boda boda riders – bicycle and motorcycle taxis commonly used in East Africa – will be allowed back on the roads from July 27, according to a report by news website Daily Monitor.

The decisions were announced by President Yoweri Museveni as Uganda’s COVID-19 case count reached 1,072, including 958 recoveries.

The country has not reported any virus-related fatality so far.

He also revised the daily curfew timing to start at 9 p.m. (1800GMT) and end at 5:30 a.m. (0230GMT).

The president said all boda boda riders and their passengers must wear masks, and the taxis will not be allowed to operate after 6 p.m. (1500GMT).

“We're going to open the salons provided they provide face shields for their staff, check temperature of clients, observe social distancing, turn off air conditioning, and ensure proper hygiene measures,” he said.

Museveni said business arcades must have temperature checks and traders must wear masks, ensure social distancing, and follow other safety guidelines.

“With schools, a decision will be made before September because that’s when third term is supposed to start,” he said.

“I do not want to declare a dead-year yet because a lot of scientists are working on the vaccine and it may come sooner than later. Let us give it a month and focus on distance learning [for now].”

The country’s main international airport, Entebbe International Airport, will remain closed until the coronavirus situation in other countries improves, the president added.

Earlier in May, Uganda relaxed restrictions on several non-essential businesses, including hardware shops, garages, metal works, woodworks, insurance providers, and a few lawyers.

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